The other day, I received an email from one of you Misfits asking me how do I maintain my locs. Surprisingly, I never really imagined many of you guys out there being #TeamLocs, though…I ain’t mad at ya 😉
Anyways, that question prompted me to tackle this post to discuss with you guys some of my favorite products for hair and to also tear down some interesting misconceptions I’ve learned people have on dreadlocks.
So first of all, the majority of products I use on my hair are the same products someone with loose, natural hair can use. For some reason, my friends were surprised to hear that I deep condition my hair. Um, yes. My hair gets dry too. In fact, my hair suffers from extra dryness because of the color. Yes, I deep condition. I shampoo. I condition. Nothing’s different, except for the fact that I have a loc instead of just a loose curl. When people ask me how do I take CARE of my hair, I will say a few things to that note: 1) I don’t take care of it, honestly. As a woman who works out, is on the go, and has recently gone free-form (I have not retwisted my hair in over 4 months), I need my hair up and out of my face. Thus the reason my hair usually stays UP and in a style, 2) I keep my hair low maintenance when it comes to manipulation and products, which is extremely important, and 3) I just let my hair do its thing. Yes, days it sticks up, other days it just does whatever it wants to do. But I trust the journey and just let it do what it wants.
Now, onto products. I personally love the Dr. Bronner’s peppermint shampoo, because I know that tingly sensation is going to let me know my scalp is cleaaaaaan. When it comes to conditioner, I throw whatever is good and quick and cheap on there, mostly because I’m super heavy-handed with conditioner. I love deep conditioners as well as protein treatments. I’m sure there’s a limit on how much you can do for protein treatments before it becomes ineffective…but I would literally do it on my hair every two weeks if I could. Every once in a while, I throw on the Silver Lights conditioner (which is a purple conditioner) to tone my blonde hair. Then, when my hair is still dry, that’s when I’ll apply my oil “cocktail”, which is the key ingredients I use on my hair for moisture. Now, this is something I learned years ago when I tried to jump on the coconut oil trend alongside the rest of the #BlackGirlMagic world: Not every product will work for your hair, and that’s okay.
Learn what your hair likes and then continue to build on that. For me, I mix rose water, almond oil, jojoba oil and a bit of castor oil. In the winter time when my scalp is seriously dry, I’ll throw out olive oil instead of castor, and in the summer, I’ll omit the heavier oils all-together. The rose water is what’s used to open the hair follicle up, and then the oils penetrate into the shaft of the hair. YOUR LOCS NEED CONDITIONING. If not, you run the risk of your locs “poppin off”, which literally means them breaking from dryness, no different than when you have brittle damaged hair from dryness.
I do experiment with loc jewelry from time to time, and do use gels to lay the kitchen down, but I’m not a product junkie. I’ve learned that the best thing for me and my hair is staying low and doing the minimum while retaining moisture. If I can give my hair moisture and water, it thrives.
Lastly, my color. So, I’ve been a blonde for a VERY long time, moreorless. I’ve tried reds, browns, black…but I’m blonde (hello, welcome to TheBlondeMisfit). However, being blonde CAN be very taxing on the hair. Since I have bleach in my hair, I try to avoid bleaching/coloring my hair more than a few times a year. Though I would love to just update my blonde whenever I see it needs a spruce, I will instead deep condition my hair for months until it “feels right” again. It’s my own personal method of knowing when my hair is ready for color again. But beware: You will suffer if you push the process too far. Under NO circumstances do I color my hair if my hair is not in the right shape for it–and my hair stylist does the same. Lately, I’ve done more work to get my locs blonde after a strange coloring accident (different story for a different time) but I still don’t believe in too much. I do think you can get to blonde coloring in a more healthier way, but it requires stages. Time. Lots of protein treatments. Yes, I can say there’s damage to my hair, specifically at the ends that tend to unravel. BUT, I can also say that keeping my hair moisturized and doing what I can helps minimize damage.
So! I hope I’ve answered some of the product/hair questions you guys have. So happy to continue the conversation and answer any other questions you have (btw, I have a loc anniversary coming up very soon, so I’ll have to do a post on that and staying patient for the journey!)